My 2013 in Concerts

Hello again! I know, I don't blog for months and now TWO in two days?!?! And there'll be another tomorrow. Craziness!

As those who follow me on Twitter or Facebook know, I got to a lot of concerts. A lot. While I didn't match the 40 I went to last year, I did manage 28 this year which isn't too shabby!

  1. Ra Ra Riot
  2. Keane
  3. Dale Earnhart Jr Jr
  4. The Shins
  5. Marina and the Diamonds
  6. Frankmusic
  7. Sir Paul McCartney (Brooklyn)
  8. New Kids on the Block (with Boyz II Men and 98 Degrees)
  10. Bronze Radio Return
  11. Belle & Sebastian
  12. Sir Paul (Milwaukee)
  13. fun. with Tegan and Sara
  14. Bon Jovi
  15. Jake Clemons
  16. Vampire Weekend
  18. The xx
  19. The Naked and the Famous
  20. Two Door Cinema Club with St. Lucia
  21. Ghost Beach and Betty Who
  22. Franz Ferdinand
  23. Capital Cities and Fitz and the Tantrums
  24. Ed Sheeran with Snow Patrol
  25. Matt Nathanson
  26. The Limousines
  27. Ingrid Michaelson
  28. The 1975 with Haerts

BEST CONCERT: No contest, Sir Paul McCartney. He's a legend. He plays for nearly THREE HOURS and, you know, he was a Beatle. Do I really need to explain this? I even flew to Milwaukee to see him because he announced his New York date later and there was no way I was going to miss him. And next time he tours I might do the same. He's PAUL McCARTNEY!!!


BEST NEW BAND: When I saw CHVRCHES the first time, they just had an EP out, but I was obsessed with their song "Recover." Then their album came out and it might be my favorite of the year. The second time was even more amazing, and I'm seeing them again in May. My favorite new band (closely tied with Walk Off the Earth whom I'm seeing next year as well)!

BEST NEW TRADITION: Ingrid Michaelson's Holiday Hop. My concert bestie Chris and I saw Ingrid Michaelson's Holiday Hop last year and it was so much fun, we went again this year. Ingrid and her band open the show dressed up as older people and do funny versions of Christmas carols, then she had another opener, then they come out and do a full concert. It was one of the concerts I was looking forward to the most and can't wait to go back again next year (plus, Ingrid has a new album out so I'll probably see her twice next year).

MOST TOUCHING MOMENT: Besides the ENTIRE Sir Paul concert, I have to say I was really moved when I saw Ed Sheeran play his first night at Madison Square Garden. I always love seeing people when they play the Garden the first time because it's such an iconic moment in their career. Ed got really choked  up when he got on stage for the first time. Nothing like seeing someone's dream come true!

There are so many more moments from this past year, but I've got to get ready to for New Year's Eve (and I've got one more book to finish reading so I'll be reading for tomorrow's post!!).

Hope you all have a fabulous night this evening and that 2014 will be the most magical (and musical) year yet!

XOXO, Elizabeth

My year in Concerts

Hello! If you follow me on Twitter or Facebook, you know that I go to a ton of concerts. So this year I decided to keep track of all my concerts to see just how many I actually go to. And this year it was 40!! (I should mention that I do wear earplugs!) Here they all are!

  1. The Givers
  2. Kelly Clarkson (Atlantic City)
  3. Kelly Clarkson (NYC)
  4. Nada Surf
  5. Aretha Franklin
  6. William Fitzsimmons
  7. Van Halen (with Kool & the Gang opening!)
  8. Pat Benatar
  9. Bombay Bicycle Club
  10. Gomez
  11. The Black Keys
  12. Temper Trap
  13. Boxer Rebellion
  14. The Shins
  15. Foster the People
  16. Ingrid Michaelson
  17. Blind Pilot
  18. fun.
  19. Glen Hansard
  20. Scissor Sisters
  21. Wilco
  22. Bombay Bicycle Club
  23. Mumford & Sons
  24. Miniature Tigers
  25. Bloc Party
  26. Kelly Clarkson with The Fray
  27. Madonna
  28. Ben Folds Five
  29. Austra
  30. Bon Iver
  31. Ed Sheeran
  32. M83
  33. Frightened Rabbit
  34. Temper Trap
  35. The Jezebels
  36. Alanis Morrisette
  37. Matt & Kim
  38. Of Monster and Men
  39. Ingrid Michaelson
  40. St. Lucia

BEST CONCERT: The Black Keys This was hard, but I love The Black Keys and their concert at Madison Square Garden was simply amazing from start to finish. Plus, they're super nice midwestern boys. Oh, and you know, for most of the time it was just the two of them, which is insanely impressive. VERY close runner-ups: Of Monster and Men, Mumford & Sons, fun., Bon Iver, Kelly Clarkson

FAVORITE PERFORMER: Kelly Clarkson As you may have noticed above, I saw K. Clark (my little nickname for Kelly) three times this year. She's really great live: her voice, her banter (two different friends I saw her with turned to me at one point and said, "you're practically the same person!"), her songs. I'm usually an indie rock chick, but I do love me some K. Clark. Go ahead and judge, I'll be too busy dancing around to her songs to care. And I also took one of my favorite pictures this year at my third K. Clark concert (of the year, I've seen her a total of five times), here's me with David Levithan. He seemed a little concerned about my enthusiasm....

BEST BANTER: Ingrid Michaelson One of my friends had an extra ticket to see Ingrid earlier this year at the last minute and I had one of her older albums so I went with him. Boy am I glad I did. I bought her other albums the next day. She's not only wonderful live, but she's hilarious. She cracked me up and was so witty and charming, I kinda want to be best friends with her (don't get jealous, Kelly!). I saw her again at the end of the year for her annual Holiday Hop concert. Her and her band opened the show disguised as a choir from a senior home and do hysterical takes on holiday standards (check out a sample here). If this whole music thing doesn't work out for her, she should consider stand-up.

BIGGEST SURPRISE: Ed Sheeran I heard about Ed last year when I was in Ireland. I knew he was big in the UK and Ireland and loved his album, +. I listened to it a lot while writing what will be book #5, especially a chapter that takes place in Ireland. So when I went to his concert, I thought it would be a lot of British ex-pats. No, there were about 3000 screaming teenage girls. But that wasn't the big surprise (although it was to my friend Chris!). Ed came out with just his guitar and a looping station. That was it. The ninety-plus set he performed alone rivaled many of the bands I saw this year. He was charming, sincere, and insanely talented. I'm pretty sure those 3000 girls agreed!

There's so much more I could say about every concert I went to, but I'll stop here. There are some concert tickets for next year I've got to track down. And so it continues...

XO, Elizabeth

Very Superstitious or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Listened to the Music

Hello everybody!

For those of you who have younger siblings, please be careful what you tell your far-too-impressionable siblings because seemingly innocent fibs can have lasting effects. Case in point: I saw Nada Surf in concert on Tuesday night, the same day their new album, The Stars Are Indifferent to Astronomy, was released. I pre-ordered the album, but was scared to listen to it on Tuesday. Why? you may ask. Don't you know, it's bad luck to listen to a band on the same day you're seeing them live.

Say what?

Um, yes. See, my older sisters took me to two my first two concerts, both in Milwaukee, which is about two hours away from where I grew up. And, for some reason, neither wanted to listen to Debbie Gibson and New Kids on the Block for the entire ride. So they decided to tell their sweet, naive youngest sister that it was bad luck to listen to those acts on the way to the concert. In fact, it was bad luck to listen to them that day at all. 

And I fell for it. Granted, I was twelve and going to my first concert and convinced that Joey McIntyre was going to fall in love with me, so best to not tempt fate.

But here we are all these years later...and I still don't like to do it. Even though I now know why they told me that. And I know it's stupid. I really do, but what if?

So then I had the Nada Surf dilemma, I wanted to hear some of the new album before the concert, but would I be okay if I did? Then I thought, Enough is enough, you know better, don't you? DON'T YOU?  So that morning, I downloaded the album (LEGALLY, paid for it and everything!) and listened...and nothing happened! My day went really well, the concert was phenomenal. The only bad thing was this super tall guy who decided to stand RIGHT in front of me, like six inches in front of me. I kept having to move over and then he moved over. That was annoying, but honestly, that was it. Tall guys at concerts are ALWAYS annoying!

So Eileen and Meg, thanks for the emotional scars, but I have finally accepted the fact that nothing bad will happen if you listen to the band you're about to see. At least, I think I'm finally over it. 

And to you older siblings out there, play nice! Your little sister or brother may one day be a published author and have the power to unfairly portray you in a work of fiction (although I'd never do that...but don't push me!).

XO, Elizabeth

P.S. - For those who are interested in Nada Surf (and you should be!), the concert I saw on Tuesday night at the Bowery Ballroom in NYC is online, you can watch it here. You won't see me though, as I was in the back apparently hiding behind a super tall and rude guy.